Google’s main news project, Google News Initiative, has provided $189 million in funds, projects, tools and resources in the past two years, and supported more than 6,250 news partners in 118 countries, according to Richard Gingras, the internet giant’s vice president in charge of news.
When Google News was launched in 2018, Gingras said news businesses presumed that they had time to carry out the digital transformation of the news industry in a methodical and considered way. However, the pandemic of COVID-19 completely changed the timetable.
“There are two universal truths about the state of the news industry today,” Ginras said in a statement. “Demand for quality journalism has never been higher, and the need for news businesses to embrace the transition to digital has never been more critical.”
While talking about the current focus of the Google News Initiative, Gingras said that they are still committed to three key areas:
• Elevating Quality Journalism
• Evolving Sustainable Business Models
• Empowering Newsrooms Through Innovation
Facing an increasingly complicated world and the undeniable challenges of journalism, Google also recognizes that the rapid transformation and integration of journalism in the digital field is related to its survival and development as a content search giant.
Google, as a technology company, inevitably cooperates and competes with content providers, but it still has to focus on its own technology specialty, and it can’t afford to be considered by more and more people as a profits thief of the content providers.
Madhav Chinnappa, Google’s director of News Ecosystem Development, said the company’s answer to news evolution is to support more projects like Local News Experiments Project and focus on building sustainable local news operations. In his opinion, the artificial intelligence news tools such as Pinpoint offer very useful tools for newsrooms. It can save costs and help journalists focus on creating quality news, Chinnappa said.
“We have both the need and the opportunity to rethink the role news plays in people’s lives and rethink how we can enable the citizens of our societies to have the tools and information they need to be informed citizens,” he said.